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I mean going back and going over all the ground he has gone over. That is where I start just scanning the record and hitting the high points to check up on him. I would never write a case from the very beginning on my own without having something in front of me, without reading the record word for word.

Mr. SPRINGER. You tell the Commissioner sometimes what is in the record. Isn't that one of your jobs to do, to tell the Commissioner then what is in the record, tell him what the pertinent high points in the record are?

Mr. Wright. Yes, sir, I do that both orally, or if he wants a memorandum to that effect, I do that, or if he is willing to wait until I have prepared a draft final report, I will do it that way.

The Commissioner has his own method of proceeding.

Mr. SPRINGER. At that point he begins to indicate how he wants the report written, is that it?

Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. I see. Thank you.

Mr. Moss. Before concluding I want to observe that in the statement supplied to the committee and in the response to the questions of Mr. Dingell and the questions from Mr. Springer that you have been very, very candid in assisting in clarifying this situation.

I think the matter of the nature of instructions and other details are items which should be pursued with other personnel of the Commission.

Obviously you are following your instructions.
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. Moss. In the conduct of your job.

The committee having no further questions, will now stand adjourned until 2 p.m, tomorrow afternoon, when we will resume hearings here in this room.

(The document referred to follows:)

MAY 28, 1969 INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT T. WRIGHT, ATTORNEY-ADVISER, SECTION OF OPINIONS,

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION On May 28, 1969, captioned individual, who prepared the written report in the Burlington train-off case (FD 25230), was interviewed by the writers. It is noted Wright was assigned to assist in the preparation of this report on Norember 14, 1968, according to a memorandum executed by Commissioner Tuggle.

Wright stated that when this matter was assigned to him, no evident work had been done in the preparation of a draft report. He advised that all he received were the exhibits and the original and one copy of the transcript. He stated that he received no instructions from the Section of Opinions or Commissioner Tuggle's office as to how the report should be written. When asked as to what steps he took upon initially receiving the assignment, he advised that inasmucb as these cases are generally standard in form and of a routine nature he took ser. eral other train-off reports that he had written in the past to use as a guide.

As an aside. Wright stated that since he knew this case was on Tuggle's personal docket, "I knew what Tuggle wanted.” When asked to explain this, Wright stated that it is commonly known that Tuggle favors taking trains off. Wright stated further that he has done a number of other reports for Tuggle and "we think a lot alike.” Further discussion on this point brought out Wright's opinion that Chairman Brown is generally neutral on train discontinuance cases and Commissioner Bush is known to favor keeping trains on. Accordingly, he stated that knowing the background of the Commissioner to whom the docket is assigned, it is no problem to write a report that each might desire.

It was pointed out to him that it would then appear from his comments that any case could be written either way notwithstanding what was on the record. Wright agreed stating it was simply a matter of what evidence you want to place the weight on.

In the case in question, Wright was asked at what point in his review of the material did he reach his decision to allow the discontinuance. He stated that his decision was reached strictly on the basis of the carrier's original application and supporting exhibits. Further discussion elicited his view that all that is necessary is that the carrier show that it is losing money. Additionally, he admitted that he places little or no weight on other evidence or testimony submitted by the protestants and stated that he only looks at the testimony if sonething in the original application is not clear to him.

Wright admitted that he makes no effort to verify the financial figures submitted by the carrier, but added that the Commission's finance people always check over the figures used in the final report for accuracy.

He was asked specifically what weight he had placed on the testimony which intimated that REA Express had possibly dropped the carrier's services at the instigation of the carrier, rather than on its own volition, as indicated in the application. He stated he felt this had no bearing on the case and gave an unusual analogy that possibly the railroad felt the REA Express was losing money by using these Burlington trains and, therefore, owed it to REA's stockholders to recommend they withdraw their account. Further discussion on this analogy totally failed to elicit its relevancy, but did result in Wright's admission that he placed no significance on the fact that the Burlington Railroad owns stock in REA Express.

Wright also admitted he placed no significance on the testimony of the former railroad mechanic who testified that in 1965 he was required to charge freight repair expenses to passenger trains and did not feel the hearing examiner erred in not pursuing it.

Wright stated that it is his opinion, gained through years of experience in handling these matters, that no weight can be given to protestant testimony, and especially former railroad employees. He could elaborate no further on this opinion. He admitted to a specific question that he felt all railroad testimony and evidence, in his opinion, is good and unquestionable and all protestant submissions are not worthy of consideration. When asked to justify this opinion, Wright stated that no train suffering financial losses should be ordered to continue to transport only a few people. He also added that he places considerable weight on railroad statistics regarding increased automobile registration and stated that people would rather use a car to go places today, or, if a great disstance, would rather ily.

Wright was asked if he felt passenger trains were essential today, to which be summarily replied, "No." This was followed with a question as to how he could justify this view in light of the heavy patronage of the Metroliners. Wright stated he felt the Metroliners are strictly a novelty, understands the southbound from New York has not had as much capacity as anticipated, and feels the success of such trains cannot be judged for a year or more. He noted that such high-speed trains require considerable outlay of cash to improve roadbeds.

Concerning instant case, Wright was asked whether he made a comparison between the alternate transportation existing at the time of the prior hearings in 1967 when Commissioner Brown wrote the opinion which ordered the trains to be continued, and that existing at the present time. He stated he had made 10 such comparison and stated that he disagreed with her viewpoint, placing much less weight on the question of alternate transportation.

Wright admitted that he never considers the overall discontinuance program of a railroad and places no significance in allegations that railroads are endeavoring, by a designed plan, to discontinue all passenger trains. He was asked whether he felt railroads were downgrading passenger service and answered that he felt the railroads years ago had probably channeled revenues in other areas of their operations rather than purchasing new equipment, but stated that the allegation of downgrading in present times probably stems from the fact that the railroad has old equipment and is just letting it run down.

Wright was asked his opinion of the Messer report in the Southern Pacific case, to which he stated that he felt it was bad inasmuch as Messer always goes to an extreme position to try to improve passenger train service, which he (Wright) considers unrealistic in view of the heavy financial losses being in. curred by railroads today. He stated he had been requested before to straighten

out some of Messer's reports because of Messer's strong position for the public. He stated he considers Wilhite a very capable examiner, but did not consider Roper (hearing examiner in previous Burlington case) a very experienced es. aminer. Wright stated he did not feel that Wilhite was guilty of any impropriety and felt the allegations against Wilhite were made by the protestants when they realized they were losing the case. Wright stated that it is his opinion that if the protestants really felt they were getting a raw deal during the hearings, they should have made a formal protest on the record.

Wright stated that he did not review the investigative report concerning the Commission's inquiry into the allegations against Wilhite, but did make an inquiry of the General Counsel's office regarding it to no avail. He stated his purpose in doing this was to try to find out the results of this investigation and the Commission's conclusion regarding the allegations so that the wording of his report would not conflict and embarrass the Commission. He stated that he talked about this case (FD 25230) with Wilhite on only one occasion to clarify a minor point, the significance of which he could not recall. He stated that neither Wilhite, nor anyone else, reviewed his final report and he did not confer with Commissioner Tuggle or anyone in his office regarding its preparation. He admitted that while he did not receive any instructions from anyone regarding the preparation of this report, he has, on occasion in the past, been advised orally or in writing on how to pitch decisions in other cases. He stated that these instructions generally come to him through his supervisors, either Thaddeus W. Forbes, Deputy Director of the Policy Review Committee, or Assistant Deputy Director Richard Block of the Section of Opinions. He could recall no specific cases in which this occurred, but noted that he generally, since 1962, only receives such assignments in train discontinuance cases when the original report submitted by a hearing examiner is either "screwed up” or the Commissioner involved is not satisfied. He stated that when such assignments are received, it is not necessary for a Commissioner to also send instructions in every instance in that it is understood that if the matter is referred to him (Wright) he will write the report in such a manner to reach a totally opposite decision from the one suggested by the hearing examiner.

With regard to personal background, Wright stated that he came with the Commission in 1958, having previously been employed by the Veterans Administration. He noted that he will have 35 years Government service this year. He stated that upon assignment in 1958, he was given train-off matters exclusively in that Section 13(a) of the ICA had just been passed. He stated he handled these matters almost full-time until 1962, when the draft reports were thereafter required to be written by the hearing examiner to which the case was assigned. Wright seemed to take great pride in the fact that he felt he had established the format for reports in train-off matters. He advised that since 1962, he has been handling primarily merger matters and has only been assigned to write reports in train discontinuance matters on a limited basis, handling only two or three in the last year.

Other discussion regarding Wright's views in train-off matters reflected that he felt Section 13(a) was necessary legislation for the railroads in that States were blocking train discontinuances and the railroads needed relief. He stated that he places no credence in the arguments of some individuals that stricter interpretation of Section 13(a) should be applied in a last-train situation. He stated that “you can't keep a train on if it's losing money."

(Whereupon, at 6:20 p.m. the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 2 p.m., Thursday, June 18, 1970.)

INQUIRY INTO CERTAIN PROCEDURES OF THE

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1970

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS,
COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 2:10 p.m., pursuant to notice, in room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John E. Moss presiding (Hon. Harley O. Staggers, chairman).

Mr. Moss. The subcommittee will be in order.

Our first witness today is Mr. H. Neil Garson, Secretary, Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mr. Garson, would you come forward and be sworn?
Raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. GARSON. I do.
Mr. Moss. Will you identify yourself for the record ?
Mr. GARSON. Yes, sir.

TESTIMONY OF H. NEIL GARSON, SECRETARY, INTERSTATE

COMMERCE COMMISSION

Mr. GARSON. I am H. Neil Garson. I am Secretary of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mr. Moss. Are you accompanied by anyone or-
Mr. Garson. No, I am not accompanied by anybody.
Mr. Moss. All right. Mr. Lishman?

Mr. LISHMAN. Mr. Garson, how long have you been employed by the ICC?

Mr. GARSON. I have been employed by the ICC since October of 1949.

Mr. LISHMAN. When did you become Secretary?
Mr. GARSON. I became Secretary on July 4, 1965.

Mr. LISAMAN. Would you outline briefly your duties and responsibilities as Secretary?

Mr. Garson. The Secretary has a variety of duties with the Interstate Commerce Commission, some of them dealing with the matter of the release of information which is—which comes from the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The Secretary is responsible for all the official records of the Commission, and to see to it that they are kept properly.

He is responsible for the minutes of the Commission. He is responsible for interpreting the rules of practice of the Commission, and in addition maintains liaison for the Commission with the practitioners, with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and also acts in an advisory capacity to the Commission on any matters presented to the Secretary for his opinion.

In addition I presume one of the important aspects is making certain that the Commission's reports and orders and notices are served upon all of the appropriate parties to a proceeding. Mr. LISHMAN. Does that conclude your answer ? Mr. GARSON. That concludes my answer.

Mr. LISHMAN. Mr. Garson, in March 1969, you attended and participated in the 34th annual convention of the Movers' and Warehousemen's Association of America, Inc., held at the Americana Hotel, in San Juan, P.R., as an official representative of the ICC.

Is that correct?
Mr. GARSON. That is right.
Mr. LISHMAN. And you were accompanied by your wife?
Mr. GARSON. That is right.

Mr. LISHMAN. According to the records of the association this convention commenced on Thursday, March 27, 1969, and extended through Saturday, March 29.

Your expense voucher indicates you departed Washington on Wednesday, March 26, arriving in San Juan the same afternoon. When did you appear on the program of the convention?

Mr. Garson. I don't recall exactly—Thursday or Friday. I can submit that for the record.

Mr. LISHMAN. We have here the official program of the Movers' and Warehousemen's Association of America, Inc., covering this convention, and it indicates on the program that you were a speaker on Saturday, March 29. Mr. GARSON. Well then that is probably the exact date.

well Mr. Moss. Is it, or is it not the exact date? Mr. GARSON. I am not certain.

Mr. Moss. Would you like to look at the program? Can you deter. mine from the program?

Mr. GARSON. Yes. I think this is accurate.

Mr. Moss. Then you would accept that as being an accurate copy of the program of that convention, and then it correctly shows that you appeared on Saturday, March 25, 1969.

Mr. Garson. Yes. Of course, what it does not show, however, is that I met with

Mr. Moss. I only wanted to determine whether the statement of counsel as to the date was a correct statement. It appears that it is.

You may proceed, Mr. Lishman. Mr. LISHMAN. Now Mr. Garson, I would like to show you a photostatic copy of the voucher submitted on this trip.

Will you please hand that photostatic copy to the witness then?
Mr. GARSON. I have it.
Mr. LISIMAN. Is that a correct copy?
Mr. GARSON. Yes, it is.

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